One of my friends and I were talking the other day about jobs we’ve had and co-workers we’ve had and other people at work that we have had to interact with and it reminded me of a particular incident a long time ago when I was working at a company we will call the blue oval.
At that time I was doing an IT job (works with computers) and one of my duties was to grant access to various groups that were on the LAN (Local Area Network). Just about every time the user was in a different building, and sometimes in a different city entirely.
One day I processed a request for a new user to be added to many different groups and when I was finished I sent out the standard email telling him what had been done and that his next step was to contact his local help desk so that they could complete the connections on his end, as this was a two part process.
The next morning I received an email from that user saying that he couldn’t access what he was supposed to access and could I please give him the permissions so that he could work. Again I sent them the email stating that it was now up to their local help desk so that the local IT guys could do the last part of the hook-up.
By afternoon I had yet another email from him stating that he still didn’t have access. I wrote him again and said that he needed to contact the local help desk (providing numbers and email addresses) to help him, as it could only be done in his building
The next morning and afternoon was a repeat of the day before. So I called his local help desk and asked if they had been contacted with the request; I was told no. I asked if I could place the request for him as there seemed to be a bit of a misunderstanding with what he needed to do next. Of course I couldn’t, that wouldn’t be following protocol and might get the guy to the top of the queue, which wouldn’t be fair to others.
I emailed the user and explained again that he needed to contact his local help desk, provided all the contact information and even sent along the supervisor’s name and number for that area.
The next morning I received another email from him that was worded pretty sternly and talked about how I was personally responsible for him not being able to do his job. At this I saw red as I had done everything that I was required to do and had even done a little extra trying to get him up and running.
So I sat down and wrote back, as civilly as I could, telling him that he needed to please contact his local help desk at the number provided and that they would put him in the queue so that his access could be completed. Then I wrote the following including the one sentence that I probably shouldn’t have written, but just couldn’t stop myself and I paraphrase for you:
I have done all that I can do at this end. You need to contact your local help desk at the phone number that I have provided you numerous times. This is the ONLY way that you will receive access to the groups that you need as your local help desk must do this step; I can not. If you can not understand that this is what you must do, please contact your supervisor and have them read this note and explain it to you. Have a nice day.
After that, I went to lunch and hoped that I wouldn’t hear from him again. The joke was soon to be on me!
When I returned to my desk, I was only there a few minutes when I received an email from my supervisor asking for details about the situation and did I write the email referenced below his email. I sent him back a short email that said yes, I had sent that email. He sent a reply that the person had contacted our department manager, who contacted my supervisor and my supervisor now wanted all the correspondence. I replied that I would do that and set about printing out all the emails.
No sooner than I had taken the print outs from the tray and walked back into my cubicle, my supervisor was there and told me I was in a bit of trouble with our department manager. I handed him the print outs and then held out my hands and said you better smack them good because I wasn’t wrong on this one.
We went into his office where he proceeded to read each letter out loud. By the time that he had read the 4th email exchange he looked at me and said I can understand why you wrote that final note. Then he showed me the email that the user had sent to our department manager. I will paraphrase again.
Recently I have been in contact with *************** in your department regarding getting access to (names of several groups here). She keeps stating that this is not her job and in her last note suggested that since I couldn’t understand her correspondence I should take it to my supervisor and have it read to me.
I HAVE A DEGREE FROM HARVARD!!! I AM THE SUPERVISOR of my department.
BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, etc.
Between the misspellings in the letter and the definite vibe of this dude thinking he was way more important than the rest of us and had a better pedigree obviously, my supervisor just started laughing. (So did I)
After we quit laughing, he called our department manager and explained the situation to him. The department manger told me that if this type of situation were to ever happen again that I was to turn it over to the supervisor and not try to handle it on my own. Of course I agreed to that; would’ve been dumb not to.
As to the user who thought he was super important, he finally got connected; it just took another whole week.